If you want to prevent clogged drains and keep your home plumbing system healthy, it’s best not to use chemical cleaners. Instead, opt for drain snaking or more natural solutions like baking soda and vinegar.
Most drain clogs occur when organic debris such as hair, skin cells, soap scum, and other particles accumulate inside your pipes. A good plunger may break up some loose clogs, but bigger ones need professional help.
Drains become blocked with debris over time, which can reduce the flow of water. Taking steps to avoid this issue can save you the cost and hassle of dealing with difficult plumbing problems. A combination of regular maintenance, the use of mesh drain covers, and simple preventive habits can keep your drains free of clogs.
Food waste is one of the main contributors to drain clogs. Grease, coffee grounds, and starchy foods can build up in pipes and restrict their movement over time. Hair is another common culprit. It can also clump together and form hard-to-remove clogs. A clogged sink or toilet is a big inconvenience for everyone in the home and can even be hazardous to your health. Recognizing the early signs of a slow-draining pipe (gurgling sounds, water backup) can help you call for professional drain cleaning before the problem worsens.
Some homeowners opt for environmentally friendly chemical drain cleaners to clear clogs. These solutions usually work well, but some can be messy to apply. Additionally, many of these products aren’t safe to be around children or pets and can be dangerous if ingested.
A better option is to use a power auger. This tool uses a motor with small, sharp metal blades to cut through and clean the drain line. It is attached to a long cable that plumbers feed down the drain pipe. The plumber can control the blades’ motion and direction while cutting or clearing out the clog.
A professional plumber can also perform this procedure with a snake, which is similar to the power auger but more powerful. It features a larger-diameter cable with aggressive tips for breaking up or hooking the clog for removal.
Prevents sewer smells
Sewer smells can signal a lot of different issues, from a minor problem like biofilm accumulation to something serious like a clogged drain or a sewer gas leak. If you notice a foul sewage smell, use some sleuthing skills to find the source and fix it before it gets worse.
The simplest way to prevent stinky drains is to flush them monthly with hot water and baking soda. This removes the lingering food particles that create obnoxious odors and keeps them from building up in your pipes.
Baking soda can also deodorize sinks and tubs by neutralizing the obnoxious smells of organic matter buildup and soap scum. When combined with boiling water, it also loosens up stuck-on grime to keep your pipes clean and fresh-smelling for longer.
If the smell is coming from a sink that doesn’t get used much, it may be due to an empty P-trap. This curved part of the plumbing system holds water to form an airtight seal that prevents obnoxious sewer and septic smells from wafting into the house. If you have an empty trap, run water for a few seconds to fill it.
A rotting waste pipe can also cause a strong, pungent smell that lingers throughout the home. This problem is typically caused by a combination of factors, including a dirty garbage disposal and infrequent drain cleanings. If the smell is overwhelming, replace the rotting pipe section and hire a professional plumber to help.
While it might be tempting to use a store-bought chemical drain cleaner, this can be harmful to your pipes. The majority of these chemicals are corrosive and can chew through plastic pipes. A better choice is to call a professional, such as Frank Gay Services. We’ll use the best tools and methods to ensure your drains are cleaned thoroughly and free of clogs and obnoxious smells.
Some chemical drain cleaners may be more efficient than others at clearing clogs, but all of them come with the potential for damage to pipes and other parts of your plumbing system. These cleaners work by creating a chemical reaction with grease and other organic material that can break it down or melt it away. This process can cause pipe corrosion, especially if the chemicals come into contact with metal pipes.
Corrosion in your piping can lead to many problems, including leaking and broken pipes. In some cases, it can even result in severe drainage issues that can decrease your property value. Drain cleaning helps prevent corrosive buildup by removing the blockage before it has a chance to affect your piping.
Blocked drains also create the ideal environment for pest infestations, such as cockroaches and flies. They provide a food source and breeding ground for these unwanted guests, which can be difficult to remove without professional help. Regular drain cleaning can help keep your home pest-free by removing the organic matter that attracts these insects.
While most modern homes use plastic piping, older properties are still reliant on metal drainpipes. Corrosion is a common issue for older pipes, and it can have a big impact on the overall health of your drainage system. Regular drain cleaning helps reduce the risk of corrosion and extend the life of your piping.
Whether you’re interested in selling your house in the future or simply want to ensure that it’s well-maintained, scheduling regular drain cleaning can make a big difference. Not only does a clean, functional plumbing system increase your home’s value, but it can also save you money by preventing costly repairs and issues.
Prevents health issues
Depending on the drain cleaner you choose, some contain corrosive and caustic chemicals that can damage your pipes and cause serious health issues. Many of these chemicals are also hazardous to touch or inhale. Having your drains regularly cleaned by a professional prevents these issues.
Enzymatic drain cleaners, for example, use bacteria and enzymes to break down food clogs. These cleaners are safer for the environment and your plumbing system. Non-enzymatic chemical drain cleaners are often acidic or alkaline, and they contain sulfuric or hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide (sometimes called caustic soda), and other chemicals. These cleaners generate heat when mixed with water, which melts grease and other drain-blocking substances.
If these chemicals are spilled on the skin or inhaled, they can burn the lungs and other parts of the body. They can also be very dangerous if children get them in their eyes. There are a number of safety precautions that must be taken when using these products, including wearing gloves and eye protection, keeping them away from children and pets, and disposing of used cleaners properly.
Some people prefer environmentally friendly, biodegradable drain cleaners. These are less effective than their chemical counterparts, but they are safer for the environment and your septic system. However, they can still cause damage to your pipes if they are not fully degreased.
There’s a reason the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies to your home’s plumbing. Taking the time to perform preventive drain cleaning can help you save money and prevent major problems.
Many homeowners reach for a bottle of chemical drain cleaner when they suspect a blockage, but these harsh products aren’t good for your pipes. They can actually damage your pipe walls, causing them to crack or corrode over time. A professional drain cleaner uses more natural, environmentally friendly products that are better for your pipes and the environment.
Regular drain cleaning removes built-up hair, soap scum, food particles, and grease, helping to keep your drains and pipes flowing smoothly. You’ll also get rid of bad smells caused by trapped waste that can seep through and into the house.
Clogged sinks and toilets lead to overflowing water that can damage floors, splash onto walls, and pool around cabinets. Water can even eat through plaster and wallpaper. Professional drain cleaning eliminates clogged drains and prevents overflowing, so you can avoid expensive repairs.
Vinegar and baking soda are popular DIY drain cleaners, but these household items don’t really clean your pipes. They’re not strong enough to dissolve most types of clogs, and they don’t break down all types of gunk. They can, however, help clear minor clogs and unblock slow-draining sinks and tubs.
Acidic drain cleaners are another type of harsh product that can do a lot of damage to your pipes and plumbing system. These cleaners are often sold to plumbing wholesalers and professional plumbers who understand the hazards they pose and know how to use them safely.